or


[01/09/12 - 08:49 AM]
Smithsonian Channel Premieres "Black Wings" on Martin Luther King Day - Monday, January 16 at 8PM ET/PT
The one-hour special "celebrates the stories of black aviation with rich detail and character, proving that the dream to fly is an aspiration that transcends all boundaries."

[via press release from Smithsonian Channel]

MEDIA ALERT

GROUNDBREAKING AFRICAN-AMERICAN AVIATORS FEATURED IN BLACK WINGS PREMIERING ON DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 16 AT 8PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

From Tuskegee Airmen to NASA Astronauts to Pioneering Female Pilots, One-Hour Special Tells Story of How African-Americans Contributed to American Aviation

New York, NY - January 9, 2012 - For early aviators, conquering the forces of gravity was a daunting challenge. But black aviators had an additional challenge - the forces of racism. Men and women of color who took to the skies and demonstrated that skin color doesn't determine skill level are the subject of the new Smithsonian Channel one-hour special, BLACK WINGS, premiering Monday, January 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

BLACK WINGS celebrates the stories of black aviation with rich detail and character, proving that the dream to fly is an aspiration that transcends all boundaries. Throughout the 20th century, the evolution of aviation paralleled the evolution of American race relations. In the space where these two stories intersect are rich and rarely-told stories of courage and innovation. For these adventurers, the attraction of flight was stronger than the distraction of racism, and by taking to the skies they helped America look beyond old stereotypes. From biplanes to commercial jets, from barnstormers to war fighters, pioneering black pilots opened the skies for all.

BESSIE COLEMAN was the first internationally-licensed black pilot in America... and a woman. How did she do it? Determination, personality, and the guts to learn French and move to Paris for training, as no one in the U.S. would take her. When barnstorming was the rage in the 20s, she was on the leading edge of aviation, smashing stereotypes along the way. Helping to tell her story is LA'SHANDA HOLMES, a Coast Guard helicopter pilot who overcame a troubled childhood to become an enthusiastic ambassador for flight.

WILLIAM POWELL was a pilot and social visionary. When aviation was the cutting edge technology of the day, Powell tried every means possible to get African Americans involved in flight in order to prove they could innovate alongside whites. Dubbed "a prophet of aviation", his goal was nothing less than complete equality. Framing this story is ROBIN PETGRAVE, who runs an aviation program for minority youths in Los Angeles. Powell and Petgrave are separated by 80 years, but their visions are strikingly similar.

While the exploits of Earhart and Lindberg became iconic, THE FLYING HOBOS, pioneering black aviators, showed just as much daring but were relegated to the shadows - famous only to the black community. Two pilots tried to change that by taking off for a cross country flight with $25 in their pockets - during the depths of the Great Depression -- hoping that good luck in the air and goodwill on the ground would propel them to be the first African Americans to fly coast to coast. Modern insight comes from GUS MCLEOD, an adventure pilot who was the first to fly to the North Pole in an open cockpit biplane.

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN is the most well-known of the stories recounted in BLACK WINGS, but rarely put into context. How did the black aviators of the 20s and 30s blaze the trail for these World War II fighter pilots? And after the war, how did military culture lead the rest of society into the battle over civil rights? Air Force pilot MATT QUY offers modern perspective, revealing how he fell into Tuskegee history quite literally by accident, but ended up honoring the Airmen in a very unique way.

JESSE BROWN was the first black pilot trained by the Navy. Flying combat in the Korean War, he was shot down. Fellow pilot Thomas Hudner crash-landed his own plane to try to save the badly injured Brown from encroaching North Koreans. THOMAS HUDNER himself recounts the harrowing episode, and its bittersweet ending with President Truman at a White House ceremony. This surprising story illustrates what a white man was willing to do for a black man in 1950.

CHAPPIE JAMES trained at Tuskegee, flew combat in Korea and Vietnam, and later became America's first black 4-star general. Our focus will be Vietnam, when he was vice commander of a celebrated Air Force unit led by Col. Robin Olds. Soon, they were nicknamed "Blackman and Robin" and together they helped shape a cohesive and successful flying force amid a war known more for its chaos. Framing this story is BENJAMIN ALVIN DREW, a military helicopter pilot in the 80s and 90s who became an astronaut and flew missions on the space shuttle.

While the military was hurtling towards successful racial integration at all levels, society dragged behind. At the dawn of the jet age, the new commercial airlines were routinely hiring retired military pilots - but not black pilots. MARLON GREEN changed that. His story starts with an application form that kept his race a secret, and ends with a historic Supreme Court decision that changed the airline industry. His family members offer a very personal account of this important civil rights pioneer whose story has never been told on film or television before.

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the world's largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America's historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.





  [january 2012]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[03/26/17 - 08:41 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Demos on Low Key Night
The latest installment of "SNL Vintage" leads the night among adults 18-49.

[03/25/17 - 08:29 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: NCAA Coverage Puts CBS on Top
The Eye easily wins the evening in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[03/24/17 - 11:53 PM]
Development Update: Friday, March 24
Updates include: Dave Erickson to exit AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead"; Sharon Lawrence cast in "Me, Myself & I" at CBS; and Cher bows out of Lifetime's "Flint" docudrama.

[03/24/17 - 02:58 PM]
TV One Premieres "The Lost Souls Cafe" on Easter Sunday, April 16 at 6 pm ET
Loretta Devine, Christian Keyes, Kiki Haynes and Ernest L. Thomas star in the film adaptation of Donald Welch's popular inspirational stage play.

[03/24/17 - 01:20 PM]
"Into the Badlands" Is 2017's #1 Returning Cable Series
AMC further spins the numbers for Sunday, March 19.

[03/24/17 - 10:51 AM]
Univision Network Casts Marco de la O as Star of New Boundary-Breaking Original Series "El Chapo"
The new ripped-from-the-headlines drama explores the life story of one of the world's most notorious criminals over a span of three decades - from 1985, when he was a low level member of the Guadalajara Cartel, his rise to power and his ultimate downfall.

[03/24/17 - 10:38 AM]
John Leguizamo Joins the Cast of "Waco" - Premieres on Paramount Network in 2018
Leguizamo joins the cast as ATF agent Robert Rodriguez, who was was sent into Koresh's Mount Carmel to gather evidence and build a federal case against the Branch Davidians but forged a bond with the people inside.

[03/24/17 - 10:05 AM]
Discovery Channel Revs Up Motor Line-Up with New Series "House of Cars" (W/T)
The series, produced by Coolfire Studios, is an original unscripted series that proves building cars isn't just for the pros - it's for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to test their chops on a big build.

[03/24/17 - 10:00 AM]
Leah Remini and Kevin James Reunite on the Two-Part Season Finale of the #1 New Comedy "Kevin Can Wait"
In the two-part finale, Kevin agrees to come out of retirement briefly to reprise his undercover assignment in an ongoing police investigation where he and fellow cop Vanessa Cellucci (Remini) will, once again, pose as husband and wife.

[03/24/17 - 09:30 AM]
AMC to Air Special Edition of "Talking" After Show Following the "Better Call Saul" Season Three Premiere and Finale Episodes
Hosted by Chris Hardwick, the hour-long talk show will feature series cast, producers and celebrity fans discussing the Emmy(R) nominated series' third season.

[03/24/17 - 08:41 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Pulls in Front with NCAA Coverage
The Eye wins the night among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[03/24/17 - 08:02 AM]
"J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only, A Dreamville Film," The Grammy-Nominated Music Star's Second HBO Special, Debuts April 15
In the spirit of his previous outing, this exclusive presentation is a multi-narrative show that combines music performances with intimate interviews documented through Cole's lens.

[03/24/17 - 08:00 AM]
"Charlie Hustle" & "The Big Hurt" Reunite as MLB Analysts for FOX Sports' 2017 Season
"Charlie Hustle" and "The Big Hurt" add to an already impressive baseball cast for FOX Sports, which also includes World Series Champions Alex Rodriguez, and Nick Swisher.

[03/24/17 - 07:26 AM]
Giada De Laurentiis Returns to Her Family's Homeland and Showcases the Food and Culture of Florence in New Season of "Giada in Italy," Premiering Sunday, April 9th at 12PM ET/PT
The series shares Giada's passion for all things Italy - especially the food.

[03/24/17 - 02:52 AM]
Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody Joins "Peaky Blinders" for Series Four
Tom Hardy returns as Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons, alongside series regulars Natasha O'Keefe and Packy Lee.